Garden delights

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Who’s that lurking
In a thick mat of cobwebs?
A handsome specimen
If you like spiders

Garden Delights

Incy Wincy

 

There’s lots of activity in, out,
and around the bug house

Garden Delights

Another creature to identify

Plants thrive
in the warmth of the sunshine

Cacti and succulents in flower

 

 

 

Nesting time

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Glorious day.
Deckchairs out.  Sunday papers.  Cup of coffee.

There’s been a lot of blue tit activity this past week.  Inspecting the nestbox.

Wonder if they were the ones that
raised a family last year?

The wall basket is the place to go to.  A moss supply.
Perfect nesting material.

Blue Tit

Target acquired

With a beak full of moss the tit flew to the washing line.
And then took off over the garden wall
to the neighbour’s nestbox.

So, what’s wrong with ours?

Still, plenty of time for others to investigate.

March of the Mouldies

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March of the Mouldies

Plastic Army

Once neatly packaged in twos and threes with a bucket and spade in a string bag, the Mouldies were free. 

Their lives had been diverse.  Loved one minute, rejected the next, chewed by the dog, washed away with the tide, returned to another place. 

Bea Pool, an obsessive collector of beach treasures, rescued Mouldies. She had a knack of spotting colourful shapes hiding under clumps of seaweed, or half-buried in soft, silvery sand.  Her ever-growing assortment lived in a bucket in the garden shed.  Bea would do something with them one day.  Maybe make a mobile, hang them in the lilac tree, glitter-spray them as Christmas tree decorations. 

Today, there was an inkling of spring in the air.  Daffodils and tulips bobbed their heads in the breeze.  Excited blue tits were ecstatic to find the nest box on the garden wall still available.  Bees buzzed in glee at the weak warmth of the first sunny day in ages. 

Pottering in the garden shed Bea looked down at the bucketful of Mouldies.  She felt sorry for them, and had an urge to return them to the beach.  Once liberated, they might have a new life.  Little people playing in the sand, with their families close by, might adopt the Mouldies to make intricate sand patterns (even though Mouldies were pretty useless at moulding sand, according to Bea’s disappointing efforts).  

It was worth the gamble.  Bea pedalled down to the beach with the Mouldies shuffling around in her rucksack.  She released them. 

The Mouldies were overjoyed.  They had the freedom of the beach.  In the distance the King and Queen of Spades and their courtiers were waiting to welcome them. 

 

King & Queen of Spades

King & Queen of Spades & Courtiers

The March of the Mouldies set forth.  The happy gathering posed for Bea.  

Mouldies get together

Mouldies together

Bea took pics of her plastic friends so she’d remember.  The time had come to leave them to their fate.  But she couldn’t.  She scooped them up, shoved them into her rucksack and took them back to the garden shed.

Back in the bucket, that’s where they’d stay … … … until the next instalment.

 

Garden safari

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Really exotic critters take refuge in the garden. This Silver Y moth was star of the day.

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Silver Y moth

Creepy crawlies lurk in the compost bin and under stones; hide in shrubs, flower heads, and other secretive nooks and crannies.

Purpose build tenement block bug houses are almost fully occupied.

 

Bees and butterflies collect the last of the summer pollen and nectar; spiders wait for a tasty morsel to land on their intricate sticky web; sap-sucking shield bugs suck sap; beetles, slugs and snails all go about their garden business.

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Spider

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Lunch

Better get on with mine – snipping, trimming, edging, sowing, mowing.

A little ear worm that’s been in my head all day … … …

How many insects find their home
in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some that I know,
and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.

Dragonflies, moths and bees,
spiders falling from the trees,

butterflies sway in the mild gentle breeze.
There are hedgehogs that roam
and little garden gnomes
in an English country garden
.

American pop singer James Frederick “Jimmie” Rodgers had his biggest hit in the UK (No5 in the charts in June 1962) with a version of “English Country Garden”, originally a folk tune arranged for piano in 1918 by Percy Grainger.

 

 

Wiggly wrigglers

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Worms

Peeling back the plastic cover, umpteen wriggling, squishy creatures object to being disturbed.  Centipedes, beetles and spiders scuttle for cover.  A tomato wears a beautiful fur coat; a soggy cucumber end with a big fat slug attached to it; a germinating avocado stone.  The dark world of the compost bin.  A snapshot opportunity of colour and life.  In a few months this decaying vegetable matter will be lovely crumbly compost for the garden.

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Slug & Worms

 

 

Freedom!

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As soon as my back was turned they made a break for freedom.  I knew it was imminent. Their cries had become more urgent and there was a lot of pushing and shoving at the escape route.  The next time I looked the escapees were randomly scattered around the garden.  The parent task was about to get harder.

For several weeks blue tit chicks lived in the safe haven of a nest box. Now on the loose they were in great danger, exposed to predators – magpies, jackdaws, crows, gulls – all on a mission to feed their youngsters; and prowling cats.

The parents knew exactly where each chick had taken refuge.  In turn they frantically delivered squishy morsels to ever-gaping beaks.  It was exhausting watching.  My heart was in my mouth willing them all to survive.

They’ve fledged.  The chicks are independent, parents can enjoy a well-earned break, and I can breathe!

Which one will come back next year to raise its young in the nest box where it grew up?